Table tennis balls are obtainable in countless different arrays so it's important that you understand what come look for before choosing which people you need to buy.

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Table tennis has actually been a passion of mine due to the fact that 1971 and I'd love come share my understanding with you. For this reason let's take a look in ~ the various types of balls the are accessible and additionally see what the rules say around them.

We'll likewise take a quick look in ~ the two many recent major changes made to the sphere which affected the size and material offered to do them.

Then in part two we'll take a look at the perform of authorised balls and see what criteria they require to accomplish in bespeak to gain onto the authorized list.

So let's get started...


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But first, let's begin with a quick history lesson...


The find for the perfect table tennis ball


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Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more


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Buy her TT Balls Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more


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Click below to buy in ~ *
*

Click below to buy at *

Click right here to buy in ~ * (UK only)


Ever because the game was first invented in the late 1800s, the search for the perfect table tennis sphere has continued unabated.

Early execution of the video game were unsuccessful since they were unable to discover a perfect ball, and also it to be only as soon as the celluloid sphere was an initial introduced in the early on 1900s that the game came to be popular.

But ever since then, the find has continued for a better ball, and different manufacturers have experimented with various materials in stimulate to shot and boost its play characteristics.


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But there to be relatively...


Few changes between 1926 and 2000


The initial 1926 laws (rules) relating to the ball remained relatively unchanged till 2000, return the specified colour the the ball changed several times throughout that period.

In the original legislations it stated that the ball must be "pale in colour" however in 1947 this was adjusted to "white and also not brightly reflecting".

Then in 1971 that was changed to "white or yellow" and also in 1993 to "white or orange/yellow", prior to the most recent readjust in 1997 come "white or orange".

The enhancement of a yellow/orange round colour was exclusively to make the ball an ext visible in certain surroundings.

Since the year 2000, there have been two major changes to the table tennis ball.


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So let's take a quick look in ~ the two many recent...


Major alters to table tennis balls


There have been two major changes come the table tennis ball much more recently.

The very first of this took location in the year 2000...

1. Native 38mm balls come 40mm balls


Following trials in the late 1990s, the rules were amended with effect from 1 October 2000 and the size of the round was readjusted from 38mm to 40mm.

The global Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) took the see that:

By slow the game down, the length of the rallies would increase, which in turn would make the game much more appealing to television viewers, and

The new, larger balls were also endorsed through "40" or "40mm" to identify them indigenous the 38mm balls.


 

The second of the two many recent significant changes come the table tennis ball took place in 2014...

2. From Celluloid come Plastic balls


In 2011 the ITTF chose to promote plastic balls fairly than celluloid balls.

This to be a significant change and also one which resulted in a an excellent deal of tension in the lower ranks of the sport.

The ITTF said that the primary issue was through the manufacturing procedure used to do celluloid balls.

The raw products are taken into consideration hazardous to health and also many countries no longer enable manufacturers to usage them, so the ITTF to be hoping that by transforming to balls make of plastic, that they would avoid any kind of future shortage of balls (due come shortages that the raw materials forced to do celluloid balls).

So in 2012 the ITTF i agree that, with effect from 1 July 2014, every ITTF occasions would only use table tennis balls made from plastic.

However, the ITTF additionally said in 2012 the celluloid balls will continue to it is in "legal" for every other occasions for at the very least two an ext years, and also possibly longer.

One of the controversial issues around the new plastic ball was that it can potentially be slightly larger (up come 0.5mm) than the 40mm celluloid balls. Thus celluloid balls have actually the engraving "40" or "40mm" whilst non-celluloid balls have the inscription "40+".

The brand-new plastic balls are additionally known as "Poly" balls.


Table tennis balls room not every the same. There are countless different varieties available and each one will certainly be an ideal for a different purpose.

Let's take it a look at every of them...

 

Fun / novelty Balls

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Firstly there room the fun/novelty balls.

These are easily accessible in lots of various colours and sizes and also are specifically suitable for children and also for fun, to chat play.

They deserve to vary from very soft to an extremely hard, and can usually be purchase in package of all one dimension or in combined packs.

However, uneven they room white or orange 40mm diameter balls weighing 2.7g, they will certainly not be legal and cannot be offered in competitive play.

 

Practice / maintain Balls

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Next, there room balls known as practice or maintain balls.

These are typically a softer ball and also are finest suited because that a young son or beginner that is practising or training.

These balls are not usually an extremely durable and are susceptible to breaking when hit hard.

However, if they're white or orange 40mm diameter balls weighing 2.7g they will certainly be legal, although i wouldn't introduce them.

 

One Star Balls

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Then there room balls which room classified as one star.

These are an ideal for usage at places such together schools and also youth clubs.

Like the practice balls, these are likewise generally a softer sphere which are susceptible to breaking as soon as hit hard, but will be legal if they're white or orange 40mm diameter balls weighing 2.7g.

 

Two Star Balls

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Then there space two star balls.

These are generally an ideal for use by improvers and can additionally be provided in a robot, or for multi-ball practice.

They will certainly not be of the highest quality, however are a an excellent enough substitute for 3 star balls in a non-match play situation.

They'll generally be balls i m sorry failed to accomplish the higher standard forced for three star balls, yet will it is in legal if they're white or orange 40mm diameter balls weighing 2.7g.

 

Three Star Balls

And finally, there room three star balls.

These are the highest quality balls accessible and are the only form which space authorised by the global Table Tennis Federation.

If you're serious around playing table tennis, these are what girlfriend need.

I introduce Xushaofa 40+ 3 Star smooth Poly Table Tennis Balls...

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These balls accomplish all the needs of the stringent tests collection by the ITTF and are the most resilient of all.

The rule of table tennis state the balls deserve to be made of celluloid or comparable plastics material, but since 2014 the ITTF have advocated plastic balls end celluloid balls.

Although both types are still currently authorised, 3 star plastic balls space the just ones which have the right to now be supplied in ITTF events, and also they are additionally being provided in plenty of other non-ITTF events too.

The ITTF perform of approved balls has many various makes, incorporating both plastic and also celluloid balls, yet my an individual favourite is the 3 star Xushaofa plastic smooth ball.

The global Table Tennis Federation produce a perform of authorised 40mm table tennis balls, but before any kind of ball have the right to be inserted on the authorised list, it must go v a rigourous experimentation programme.

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In part two we'll take it a look at the list of authorised balls and see what criteria they need to accomplish in order to acquire onto the authorized list.